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And the imperial votaress passed on
In maiden meditation fancy free.-SHAKSPEARE. .
I BLAME not her, because my soul
Is not like her's,-a treasure Of self-sufficing good,-a whole
Complete in every measure.
I charge her not with cruel pride,
With self-admired disdain ; Too happy she, or to deride,
Or to perceive my pain.
I blame her not—she cannot know
What she did never prove :
Her streams of sweetness purely flow
Unblended yet with love.
No fault hath she, that I desire
What she cannot conceive; For she is made of bliss entire,
And I was born to grieve.
And though she hath a thousand wiles,
And, in a moment's space,
As fast as light, a thousand smiles
Come showering from her face,
Those winsome smiles, those sunny looks,
Her heart securely deems,
Cold as the flashing of the brooks
In the cold moonlight beams.
Her sweet affections, free as wind,
Nor fear, nor craving feel ; No secret hollow hath her mind
For passion to reveal.
Her being's law is gentle bliss,
Her purpose, and her duty ; And quiet joy her loveliness,
And gay delight her beauty.
Then let her walk in mirthful pride,
Dispensing joy and sadness, By her light spirit fortified
In panoply of gladness.
The joy she gives shall still be her's,
The sorrow shall be mine ;
Such debt the earthly heart incurs
That pants for the divine.
But better 'tis to love, I ween,
And die of slow despair,
Than die, and never to have seen
A maid so lovely fair.
"Tis sweet to hear the merry lark,
That bids a blithe good-morrow;
But sweeter to hark in the twinkling dark,
To the soothing song of sorrow.
Oh nightingale! What doth she ail?
And is she sad or jolly ?
For ne'er on earth, was sound of mirth
So like to melancholy.
The merry lark, he soars on high,
No worldly thought o’ertakes him ; He sings aloud to the clear blue sky,
And the daylight that awakes him.
As sweet a lay, as loud, as gay,
The nightingale is trilling ;
With feeling bliss, no less than his,
Her little heart is thrilling.
Yet ever and anon, a sigh,
Peers through her lavish mirth;
For the lark's bold song is of the sky,
And hers is of the earth.
By night and day, she tunes her lay,
To drive away all sorrow;
For bliss, alas ! to night must pass,
And woe may come tomorrow.
While the bald trees stretch forth their long lank arms,
And starving birds peck nigh the reeky farms :
While houseless cattle paw the yellow field,
Or coughing shiver in the pervious bield,
And nought more gladsome in the hedge is seen,
Than the dark holly's grimly glistening green-
At such a time, the ancient year goes by
To join its parents in eternity-
At such a time the merry year is born,
Like the bright berry from the naked thorn.
The bells ring out; the hoary steeple rocks-
Hark! the long story of a score of clocks ;
For, once a year, the village clocks agree,
E’en clocks unite to sound the hour of glee-
And every cottage has a light awake,
Unusual stars long flicker o'er the lake.
The moon on high, if any moon be there,
May peep, or wink, no mortal now will care,
For 'tis the season, when the nights are long,
There's time, e'er morn, for each to sing his song.
The year departs, a blessing on its head,
We mourn not for it, for it is not dead :
Dead? What is that? A word to joy unknown,
Which love abhors, and faith will never own.
A word, whose meaning sense could never find,
That has no truth in matter, nor in mind.
The passing breezes gone as soon as felt,
The flakes of snow that in the soft air melt,
The wave that whitening curls its frothy crest,
And falls to sleep upon its mother's breast.
The smile that sinks into a maiden's eye,
They come, they go, they change, they do not die.
So the Old Year—that fond and formal name,
Is with us yet, another and the same.
And are the thoughts, that ever more are fleeing,
The moments that make up our being's being,
The silent workings of unconscious love,
Or the dull hate which clings and will not move,
In the dark caverns of the gloomy heart,
The fancies wild and horrible, which start
Like loathsome reptiles from their crankling holes,
From foul, neglected corners of our souls,
Are these less vital than the wave or wind.
Or snow that melts and leaves no trace behind ?
Oh! let them perish all, or pass away,
And let our spirits feel a New-Year's day.
A New-Year's day—'tis but a term of art,
An arbitrary line upon the chart
Of Time's unbounded sea-fond fancy's creature,
To reason alien, and unknown to nature.
Nay—'tis a joyful day, a day of hope !
Bound, merry dancer, like an Antelope ;
And as that lovely creature, far from man,
Gleams through the spicy groves of Hindostan,